Friday, February 03, 2017

Fair Trade Friday - Compassion International

In light of the recent Executive Order by President Trump on immigration and refugees, I feel led to talk about something that is important to me.  This is not really a political post, as I am not going to share my thoughts on the EO or the President.  However, it seems people are struggling with the desire to help, but unsure of how to make a difference.

Many people feel that the only way to truly help those in need, refugees, in particular, is to bring them to the USA.  I am not entirely sold on this idea.  I feel it is better to help people where they are, so they, in turn, can help those around them.  Where did this idea come from?  My thinking was shifted after reading a book called, "When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself " by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.  Now, I realize that refugees are not simply trying to escape poverty and therefore are a special situation, but do you still not think that they would prefer to stay in their own country if they could do so safely?  Could you imagine being told that you were going to be relocated to Zambia for instance?  A country where you do not understand the language or the culture and told to start over?

Immigration programs, on the other hand, take years of applications and interviews for a person to be considered.  Most of those accepted are the brightest or those with the most potential for success once they immigrate.  What if that potential could be applied in their own country?

I believe we need to empower people to take a stand for their rights and to equip them to make a difference.  In every corner of the world, there is poverty, oppression, and suffering.  How can we make a difference?

One way would be to shop Fair Trade.  Making sure that the items we purchase are made by people making a living wage in their respected countries.  Is the $5 t-shirt from Target a good deal if it means keeping a worker in bondage because of low wages?

Here is a link to a list of ethically made products.

Another way would be to sponsor a child through a reputable organization, such as Compassion International.  According to their website, "We partner with churches and denominations in AfricaAsiaCentral America and the Caribbean, and South America to help them provide children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be." They are making a global impact.

We have seen one success story of Compassion when we look at Maureen, Co-Founder of the Mercy House, Kenya.  Compassion gave Maureen the means to get an education and to rise above the extreme poverty and hopelessness she experienced growing up in a slum.  She has gone on to recognize a need and to meet that need in Kenya.  She is making Kenya a better place.

Thank you for listening today as I shared my heart with you.  Take a stand, make a difference, empower someone today and change the world!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this information !

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. It's not that we don't want to help, it is in finding the best way to help. For everyone involved.


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